Two years ago the Baltimore Orioles made a minor switch to their traditional start times, and changed Sunday games to 1 PM (instead of 1:30 PM) starts. It’s unclear why this switch was made, however I thought it was a good one. It gets people home earlier, among other things.
However should the Orioles consider changing start times more across the board moving forward? In effect, Monday-Saturday games start at 7 PM, and then the aforementioned Sunday afternoon starts. There are exceptions, as some Saturday games start at 4 PM due to national television, and on occasion the Birds will have a weekday matinee.
And let’s start there; the Orioles aren’t one of the teams who play a lot of day games during the week. Usually if the team is heading out to the west coast they’ll schedule a getaway day matinee or something along those lines. But it happens once or twice a season. The Orioles conclude home series midweek on April 1st, 15th, 30th, May 13th, June 11th, July 1st, 22nd, August 6th, and September 24th. July 1st against the Yankees is followed by a road game in Oakland the following day – I would expect that to be an afternoon game. But might they consider having a few others?
Teams have presumably done studies showing what game time maximizes potential attendance. However especially once schools let out, I think they would have a unique chance to schedule a few day games so as to perhaps get kids more involved. And the same might be true on Saturdays. I admittedly am not a fan of the 4 PM games when national television dictates that start time. So maybe perhaps do the Orioles consider making their Saturday start times 1 PM along with Sundays?
I suspect that Saturday nights are big revenue-generators in terms of the box office as well as concessions. But again, I think that you have a better shot at getting more kids in the stands. Why is that an issue? Because you’re paying your future forward. You want lifelong fans and customers coming out of attendance. The more often you make it easier for kids to come to the park, the more lifelong fans you’ll create moving forward.